CEN CENELEC General Assembly 1 and 3 June

Published 15-06-2010
The European Free Trade Association, represented by Tore Nyvold Thomassen, addressed the General Assembly of the European standardisation organisations CEN and CENELEC on 1 and 3 June 2010 in Malta.

Mr Thomassen began by congratulating CEN and CENELEC on the new joint CEN CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). He then warned about the risk of fragmentation of the single market for services if standards and certification are developed at a national level instead of at a European level, and urged stakeholders to adopt European solutions. He stressed the need to make the European Standardisation System (ESS) an even better tool for achieving the goals set in environmental policies. Furthermore, he marked the 50th anniversary of EFTA by drawing some lines back to the creation of EFTA in 1960 and CEN in 1961.

The speech to the CENELEC General Assembly focused on the current review of the ESS. EFTA is, from a governmental point of view, not satisfied with the fact that so far, the European Commission has not properly involved government officials in the review, through the advisory committee (SOGS) used for discussions on, inter alia, standardisation. The EEA EFTA States participate in this committee through the EEA Agreement.

Moreover, he called for more perspective in the reactions to certain questions asked by the European Commission during the review of the ESS, and stressed the important contribution to European standardisation made by the EU, starting with the EEA Directive recognising CEN, CENELEC and ETSI as the European Standardisation Organisation and with the New Approach. Mr Thomassen drew attention to various EU policies and initiatives using or promoting standardisation as a tool. He also referred to the fact that there are several ways of calculating the relative value of the European Commission and EFTA financial support to European standardisation. Finally, he pointed out that the most effective way for the Commission and EFTA to contribute to the ESS is to act as demanding and critical customers of the ESS, thus contributing to the long term robustness of the system.

Link to CEN speech and CENELEC speech:

Link to open European Commission consultation including contributions from stakeholders.

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